January 10, 2016
Dear Family and Friends,
This week has been a good and sad one for me. First things first, we didn't have a baptism on Saturday. I will explain why in a little bit. We got our transfer call out last night and I will be leaving Wangaratta. Elder Solomon is staying, so that will be good! I will be going to Yarra Valley, which is down near the mission office. It is still considered bush, but it is bush and city! It also happens to be Elder Solomon's last area and his first area in the mission. He too spent 6 months in his first area!! Because of a new policy for all of the missions in the world, there will no longer be a transfer meeting at mission offices. We are now going back to the old way that they did transfers in the mission. We will get a call telling us if we are leaving and if we are, they will then tell us where we are moving too and who our new companion will be. We will also be traveling alone to our new area on public transportation, so that will be new. This is the new church wide policy for all missions, so you should be able to ask other missionaries about it. Basically, if you have seen the movie "The Best Two Years', it will be like the opening scene and how Elder Calhoun gets to the area. He traveled alone to the area and he already knew his companion.
So onto the baptism. So we had them both prepared and they were ready to be baptized, but when our Zone Leaders conducted their baptism interview, Max wasn't 100% sure on some things that we had taught him, so he just needs a little bit more time to re-learn some things. Laurence passed his interview, but he had some more concerns that he told us, after the interview. Nothing to do with the church or the things we taught him, just some personal things. He said he needs to take care of those and then he will be ready to be baptized in a month. I'm hoping that all goes well and that they both will be baptized in the coming weeks and months. If all goes well, I may even get permission to come back to the area for the baptisms and still be able to baptize Laurence! We are sad and disappointed that they didn't happen, but we understand and know that the Lord must have a different plan other than ours.
I am really sad to be leaving this area and all of the people that I have met. I know that I am needed in Yarra Valley and that everything will work out the way it is supposed to. I will always love this people and Wangaratta will always hold a special place in my heart. The friendships and relationships that I have had with these people will live forever and I will never forget the 5 and a half months that I have spend here! I love you all! Thanks for everything!